The four elements of COVID CIRCLE

Principles and research priorities

COVID CIRCLE is built on a foundation of seven funder principles that align research funders towards a coordinated effort for supporting high-quality research for the most pressing global needs in epidemics and pandemics. COVID CIRCLE will support researchers to meet the funder requirements outlined in the principles.


To support Principle 1: “Alignment to global research agendas and locally identified priorities”, COVID CIRCLE has supported the development of the COVID-19 Research Priorities for Africa (led by the African Academy of Sciences with AUDA- NEPAD, The Global Health Network & UKCDR). COVID CIRCLE has also supported the development of updated global health research priorities for COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries in collaboration with The Global Health Network (TGHN) and the African Academy of Sciences.

Mapping and analysis

The COVID-19 Research Tracker is a live database with thousands of funded research projects across the world related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, mapped against the priorities identified in the WHO Coordinated Global Research Roadmap: 2019 Novel Coronavirus.


Through this tracker, we aim to support funders and researchers to deliver a more effective and coherent global research response. A comprehensive cross-cutting analysis of the COVID-19 Research Project tracker data has also been established in the form of a living mapping review published on the Wellcome Open Research platform. This is updated on a quarterly basis and supplemented with additional specific analyses where relevant to inform both funders and researchers.



Researcher Coordination

Researcher collaboration and coordination is a pivotal element of impactful and effective preparedness and response during epidemics and pandemics. COVID CIRCLE will support researchers to connect and collaborate and facilitate access to relevant resources, guidance, news and events, and engagement with broader networks to maximise the impact of research on COVID-19 in low resource settings.




It is essential that the global research community conducts appropriate evaluation to learn from the process of funding and undertaking research in the COVID-19 pandemic to inform future responses.


We will shape our learning and evaluation framework based on the cross-cutting opportunity to learn from the research response across funders and researchers. We want to hear from the research community and learn from your experiences to understand how to overcome barriers to researchers undertaking effective research in epidemics.


If you have any feedback or questions, please do get in touch at


At present, the members area of this platform is closed to researchers funded by COVID CIRCLE funders.



A partnership between

The UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) is a group of UK government departments and research funders working in international development research.


UKCDR exists to amplify the value and impact of research for global development by promoting coherence, collaboration and joint action among UK research funders.

GloPID-R is a network of funding organizations investing in infectious diseases research preparedness and response.


GloPID-R is the only alliance of its kind to bring together research funding organizations on a global scale to facilitate an effective and rapid research of a significant outbreak of a new or re-emerging infectious disease with epidemic and pandemic potential

Funded By

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is a ministerial department. DHSC’ focusses on health and social care to help people live more independent and healthier lives for longer. DHSC's global activities contribute to a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and support research and development to tackle the biggest health challenges facing the global community.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)a ministerial department. BEIS’ focusses on building a stronger, greener future by fighting coronavirus, tackling climate change, unleashing innovation and making the UK a great place to work and do business.
UK Research and Innovation is a non-departmental public body sponsored by BEIS, which brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, and Innovate UK. In partnership with NIHR, UKRI have co-funded the Global Effort on COVID-19 Health Research (GECO) call. UKRI also funds the GCRF/Newton Agile Fund to address COVID-19.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) promotes the interests of British citizens, safeguards the UK’s security, defends UK values, reduces poverty and tackles global challenges with international partners. In partnership with Wellcome, FCDO has COVID-19 Epidemics Preparedness call.
Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation. Wellcome has funded a range of COVID-19 research projects, including the COVID-19 Epidemics Preparedness call in partnership with FCDO.
The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is funded by DHSC and as the UK’s largest funder of health and care research and provides the people, facilities and technology that enable research to thrive. As a major funder of global health research and in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, the NIHR have co-funded the Global Effort on COVID-19 Health Research (GECO).
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